A company controlled by Arcadia owner Sir Philip Green’s family has sold 12 BHS properties to the department store chain’s new owners, Retail Acquisitions, in a deal worth £70m.
Green family-owned property holding company Carmen Properties, which is based in the offshore tax haven of Jersey, acquired the 12 BHS properties in 2001 for £106m.
Earlier this month, buyout firm Retail Acquisitions paid £1 to take control of BHS’s 171 stores and take on its pension fund. Green was renting the 12 Carmen Properties-owned stores to Retail Acquisitions, but has now completed a sale.
It is not clear how much of the proceeds of the sale were required to pay down debt because Carmen Properties is based in the offshore tax haven of Jersey.
Until recently the family received £10.4m per year in rental income from the properties, even when the department store chain made substantial losses.
Green explained: “My family offered to sell these properties to Retail Acquisitions, enabling a £9m a year saving for the company based on the current rent of £10.4m per year, which had already been reduced.
“The company’s rent bill on the properties, due to a couple of head leases, is now £1.4m payable per year.”
He explained that there are finance costs on the £70m acquisition, which “still leaves a very significant saving on the rent”.
Green’s family are reported to have agreed to pay £15m back into the pension fund over the next three years, and this year will pay £10m between them and Retail Acquisitions. The fund has a deficit of some £100m.
BHS shareholders, led by Green’s wife Tina, are said to have received dividends of £400m since buying the retailer 15 years ago.
One of BHS’s headquarter offices, North West House in Marylebone, was sold to property investor Alexander Dellal for between £30-£40m, prior to the sale of the business. Green said that the entire proceeds from the sale were paid in cash back into BHS.
Retail Acquisitions is also thought to be close to a sale of BHS’s main headquarters, Marylebone House.